Modern Farm Technologies
We are A FArm, but we're not old-fashioned
First of all, we love horticulture. We love to grow everything, and we especially love to grow crops in seasons that are an alternative to what would be considered their normal season.
We grow tomatoes in heated hoop houses. The plants grow in compost so flavor is very good, but we can produce fruit 2 months early by transplanting to these houses in early April rather than outside early June. Demand has been such that we now have 10 19 ft x 100 ft greenhouses for this one crop. We plant one every 2 weeks and will harvest past frost. The plants are watered at the root zone, so no diseases build up because the foliage stays dry. Some greenhouse have raised beds, some straight compost and soil, and some are using a bag culture.
We are also experimenting with vertical strawberry production. The system has been found on a few farms in New England, but more so in Florida. This year, we grew an ever-bearing strawberry called Seascape in this system, and picked beautiful strawberries throughout the summer and fall. This planting takes up 1/30th of an acre, where the same number of plants would require 1/3rd acre if field planted. Picking should be a breeze compared to crawling on hands and knees. Would this be something our pick your own customers would be interested in? We will try this some day.
We also use a tree training system called the “French Axe” which involves a high wire that secures a post, which acts as a support for each dwarf tree. Our newer plantings are growing wonderfully on this system and we believe they will hold up better than trees on heavy posts in the event of a tropical storm. This also allows for earlier production where the trees do not have to put energy into creating a strong trunk and limbs for support, but rather right into fruit production. We also have begun work with Extension Agent Jon Clements of UMass, and have developed a super high density system with 900 trees per acre, with trees spaced only 2 feet 3 inches apart. The trees were only in the ground 1 year before yielding a crop of 150 bushels per acre. That is something to get excited about!
Our renewable energy projects have been a fascinating and educational experience for us, and we will go into much more detail about this on the individual solar project and wind turbine project pages.